There aren’t any other routes like this one that winds exclusively through Val Belviso, the most-eastern side valley in Valtellina’s Orobie Alps. Known for being steep and narrow, you’ll be riding at such a high altitude from Alpe Magnolta to the Passo di Venerocolo that you’ll be graced with jaw-dropping views and a bright, expansive landscape that’s intensified by the presence of the huge reservoir that paints the bottom of the valley a bright blue.
The ride starts from the Magnolta ski lift car park on a dirt track that runs left up the side of the lift. Signs will point you to Malga Magnolta and the Passo Venerocolo. The first gravel section won’t pose any major challenges, but expect the difficulty to increase between the cluster of huts at Corna Alta (1,457 metres) and the top of the cable car (1,870 metres) – it gets steeper and steeper and pushing might be required.
Given that this section is quite tough, there’s a cable car up to Magnolta during summer so you can save some energy for later on. From Magnolta (1,940 metres), the trail coasts along for about 13 km into Val Belviso, staying pretty flat with a few mellow rises through rich, green forests. You’ll ride by Malga Magnola (1,997 metres) then cross through the Valle del Latte and the Valle di Pisa, which has some exposed sections so ride carefully.
Once you top out the ride at Passo di Venerocolo at 2,314 metres of altitude, it’s time for the well-deserved descent. While steep and quite techy for the first few hundred vertical metres, it turns super smooth once you hit the gravel above Malga di Campo with magical views that come to life with the bright blue of the reservoir amongst the undisturbed nature. One of the finest examples of MTBing around!
To finish the ride, pedal along the paved road from Ponte Ganda to Aprica,